Friday, December 31, 2004

Nick Coleman Is A Space Alien

Well, maybe not a Space Alien, really. But he sure appears to be one very spacey dude. In any case, if he can publish outrageous made-up nonsense about others, the same can be done to him with impunity, n'est ce pas?

Anyhow, Flown To The Roll has the following splendid wrap-up on the Nick Coleman debacle, with a lengthy list of links to many of the blogs that have contributed to Mr. Coleman's professional obitiuary: Blogalanche Buries Nick Coleman.

Sad thing, though: Mr. Coleman most likely still thinks he got the best of those dastardly Pajama Pundits. He has no clue. It reminds me a little of the perennial movie character who, having been mortally shot in a firefight, thinks he's received but a mere flesh wound. He staggers about, assuring everyone - and himself - that he's fine, just before keeling over, face-down, and expiring on the spot. May he retire in peace.

It Would Be Funny If It Weren't So Pathetic

Lefties are spitting mad, I'm telling you. They don't like that darned George W. Bush one bit. He's not their president, you see, and they sure as doggone heck don't like his Global War On Terror. But in spite of how smart the lefties are are, and all because of those stupid yokels in Ohio, Gee Dubyuh's going to be inaugurated (yet again) on January 20th, 2005, as president of these United States.

So, what can our spirited lefties do? They've tried holding their breath until they turned blue; they've tried sticking their fingers in their ears, shaking their heads forth and back, and saying 'nah, nah, nah, nah,' really loudly; they've tried pouting and sighing and rolling their eyes to the heavens. Unfortunately, nothing has worked: Dubyah still won Ohio, and he's still going to be president for four more long years.

But it appears that Hope Is On The Way. Thundering across the plains of the Internet, riding on a white steed, a chain email has been making the rounds, promising a new way to protest the president's upcoming (re)inauguration: "Not One Damn Dime Day." Heaven knows, there's nothing a good lefty likes better than a good protest, and this one won't cost them One Damn Dime. So, while I supress a snicker, let them tell you all about it:
Action Alert

Not One Damn Dime Day - Jan 20

Since our religious leaders will not speak out against the war in Iraq, since our political leaders don't have the moral courage to oppose it, inauguation Day, Thursday, January 20th, 2005 is "Not One Damn Dime Day" in America.

On "Not One Damn Dime Day," those who oppose what is happening in our name in Iraq can speak up with a 24-hour national boycott of all forms of consumer spending.

During "Not One Damn Dime Day" please don't spend money. Not one damn dime for gasoline. Not one damn dime for necessities or for impulse purchases. Not one damn dime for anything for 24 hours.

For 24 hours, please do what you can to shut the retail economy down. The object is simple. Remind the people in power that the war in Iraq is immoral and illegal; that they are responsible for starting it and that it is their responsibility to stop it.

"Not One Damn Dime Day" is to remind them, too, that they work for the people of the United States of America, not for the international corporations and K Street lobbyists who represent the corporations and funnel cash into American politics.

There's no rally to attend. No marching to do. No left or right wing agenda to rant about. On "Not One Damn Dime Day" you take action by doing nothing. You open your mouth by keeping your wallet closed. For 24 hours, nothing gets spent, not one damn dime, to remind our religious leaders and our politicians of their moral responsibility to end the war in Iraq and give America back to the people.

Please share this email with as many people as possible.
Right now I'm leaning toward thinking this is a hoax. On the other hand, it's so stupid it might just be for real.

This Is A Great Blog

Common Sense Runs Wild.

Nick Coleman And Powerline - Un Poco Mas

Iowahawk has a copy of the first draft of Nick Coleman's revealing and oh-so-clever column about his envy of peanuts. Or something like that.

HardStarboard explains why Mr. Coleman might feel compelled to make such comments.

Day By Day captures brilliantly the essense of Nick Coleman's career priorities.

And finally, for now:

Swanblog sizes up Nick Coleman's journalistic future, with a lengthy list of his many accomplishments and awards.

Half The Country

Half The Country is yet one more lefty website that expends great effort in consoling its own that nearly Half The Country (oh, I get it, now) stands firmly against the Powers Of Darkness that overtook the United States this past November 3rd. Their motto and mantra: we're half the country, and we're not going away; we'll be sore losers, but we're not leaving.

Their latest gambit seems to be linking to maps that mix blue and red to show purple states, or at least purple counties. You see, those 'red' counties weren't really entirely for Bush. Well, that's a relief. It appears to be an attempt to pursuade the faithful progressive - read, leftist - that, well, things-aren't-really-as-bad-as-they-appear. Psst, I gotta a little secrect that I'll share with you here: things really are every bit as bad they appear for their side - and worse.

But even on a silly website like this, some truth and wisdom seeps through. Steve Rosenthal reaches the very correct conclusion as to why the Demos lost in Ohio, and by implication, the whole country. I congratulate him for his astute observations; he's absolutely right.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Nick Coleman And Powerline

If you want to be able to read the full text of the column by Twin Cities hometown leftwing zany Nick Coleman, mentioned in this Powerline entry - but you don't want to give Coleman's bosses your Bona Fides by registering with the StarTribune - you're in luck. Just go to Google and read the archived version. You may not be able to read the second page of the article this way, but it's just more of the same nonsense; you're not missing much of anything.

Just a note, by way of recollection: although these days Nick Coleman makes an occasional guest appearance on the frightfully dim-witted Air America, some years back he had a short-lived radio show of his very own on AM 1500, the Twin Cities talk radio station home of Rush Limbaugh. Coleman's show was rightly seen by many as a valiant attempt on the part of the managers of the station to bring a leftist counter-point to the stable of successful conservative properties that helped make KSTP-AM a powerhouse in the Upper Midwest.

The upshot?

Coleman's show was dreary, dreadful, virtually unlistenable. As is the case with his newspaper column, he failed utterly to either enlighten or entertain. He seemed incapable of telling the difference between sarcasm and irony, whining and insight. He was horrid with callers and even worse when he'd try to pointificate. Migawd, he was bad! His lefty rants were reminiscent of watching a drunk at a local bar, blathering on incoherently, shouting and bobbing and weaving at anyone within earshot; what else is there to do but to take his keys and call him a cab?

His show was relegated to Sunday afternoons, where poorly-rated shows go for recovery (or hospice), but even there it couldn't hold its own. The Gong was sounded soon enough and Coleman was given the hook. Like most people, I'd forgotten all about his sad foray into the New Media until today, as I read the Powerline story.

A disclaimer follows: I must say that I am not entirely certain of the circumstances surrounding the removal of Coleman's radio show from the air. It may have been due solely to low ratings, there may have been personality differences, or there may have been other factors at work. I know that the gossip mill around town was awash with rumors about the low ratings of the show, and - in fact - the show did not last, but I was never made privy to inside information. I can assure readers of this, though: in my never-to-be-humble opinion, Coleman's show was pretty bad, and I never met anyone else who admitted to listening. (Me? I only listened occasionally because my car radio dial was always set to the Mighty 1500, back in the days before the 1280 Patriot came to town.)

In the end, I say, don't pay Nick Coleman no nevermind. Yeah, he's got a newspaper column, but he's not that highly regarded or influential in Minnesota, and his brand of bleeding-heart, gushy socialist loopiness is on the wane across this great land. Soon enough, we will have to visit Media Zoos and Museums to see his ilk, so enjoy his act while you still can.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Unwanted Gift Cards Find Second Life Online. Ain't the Internet great?

The Toll Continues To Rise

Tsunami Death Toll Rockets to 114,000.

If you are moved to help, check this page at Charitywatch for a listing of American agencies helping with the disaster relief effort, each believed to be reputable and worthy of your consideration.

And So, It Begins

My 5 year-old daughter asked me an odd (but slightly humorous) question last night, to wit, whether when - notice, she said when - she got married, if her four most favorite former boyfriends would be in attendance. When I recovered sufficiently to ask her who these lads might be, she corrected herself and told me that there were, in fact, only three boys who might qualify: one playmate from the neighborhood, one boy she met at physical therapy and one from her Sunday School. Apparently the (fourth) little boy she likes from Kindergarten is no longer to be counted as a boyfriend. She explained that when she'd announced to the young ne'er-do-well that she 'felt a little love' for him, he harrumphed that such talk was icky and ran away, putting the kibosh on what could have been a budding romance. I had to smile.

Story Of The Year

The always-insightful Peggy Noonan writes a great piece in OpinionJournal today, on the Story Of The Year, tying together the Asian Tsunami tragedy and Steven Spielberg. Read it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Bloggers Working Overtime

Interesting and inspiring story from India's Hindustan Times: Bloggers Help Tsunami Victims. Among others, the story makes reference to one of our own, tsunamihelp.blogspot.com.

Susan Sontag, RIP

I'm sure Ms. Sontag has family and associates who cared about her and will miss her, but outside of New York, is this really any kind of news at all? I can't picture too many of the Hoi Polloi beyond the hallowed shores of Manhatten offering up anything more than a shrug to this story.

Was Ms. Sontag a good writer? I dunno. I never cared for her style. But she made a living at her craft, so she must have been good enough. Was she influential? I'm sure she was, after a fashion, but mostly in the sense that all New York intellectuals are influential with their peers, and with the writers and editors of the New Yorker, The New York Times or Harpers.

Outside of the Big Apple, however, pretty much the only people who care deeply about New York Intellectuals are the likes of the upper middle-class lefties in Madison and Berkeley, who keep a copy of The New York Times Review of Books on the coffee table because it gives them a feeling of connectedness with the Mother Ship.

(OutsideTheBeltway had this to say about Ms. Sontag's passing, with a link to a somewhat less sanguine obit from TheDeadPool.)

Souse Support?

Modern Drunkard Magazine.

Even Worse

Asia Rushes to Bury 67,000 Tsunami Victims.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

As I Suspected, It Gets Worse

Asia Struggles As Death Toll Hits 44,000.

If you are inclined to help - and you should consider it, if you can - read this information from the Red Cross. And Michele, at A Small Victory, has a good post on the subject, with a number of links of places to give assistance.

Blog

Instapundit posted a positive review of Hugh Hewitt's upcoming book Blog, due out in mid-January. Sounds like a good read.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Euclid In The Rainforest

Yup, that's right, Euclid In The Rainforest.

Wow

Asian Tsunamis Kill at Least 13,340 People. I'm sure the death toll is going to be much higher.

Christmas Loot

You want to know what I got for Christmas, don't you? Of course you do:
1) - Palmpilot Tungsten E

2) - Macintosh Bible

3) - I Might Be Wrong - Radiohead, Smile - Brian Wilson, From A Basement On A Hill - Elliott Smith

4) - Garageband Jam Pack - Apple

5) - Nordstom Shirt and Tie

6) - Homemade Biltong

7) - Sugus and Smarties

8) - A few of these

9) - Assorted stocking stuffers like Candy and a few Dollar Store DVD's
Santa was pretty generous this year. And so was family. Hey, I'm not complaining.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Merry Chrashmas

I believe the download will see you now: (Gotta) Crash On You

If you get a message that bandwidth has been exceeded temporarily, try back in a few hours. If you receive an incomplete file, please notify me with a comment on this post and I will try uploading to another server.

Enjoy.

Tammie...Tammie...Tammie's In Jail

DrinkThis gets kudos for posting the story first, from The Smoking Gun: Two Boys Stabbed In Pork Chop Dispute.

Oddcast

I'm not sure that when I check out the Oddcast site I really want this animated website character talking to me, even if she is kind of cute, in a Janine Turner sort of way. Don't get me wrong, I like Ms. Turner. But her cartoon doppleganger on this website kind of creeps me out. (Move the cursor around her face: use it to tickle her ears, and her nose and the top of her head. See what I mean? Creepy, I tell you.)

You Think You're So Smart

Try this. (No, I'm not telling you my score, but it's really, really high.)

That's A Lotta Moolah

These folks believe they've got a plan to End Terrorism And War. They'll also take some of your cash. I dunno...

Bad Americana English

The Brazilian city of Americana was populated by expat former-Confederates, after the civil war - hence the name. The city's American heritage lingers to this day: one can still find the names Smith and Jones in the city phone directory, and American-style square-dances are popular. Ironically, the English-language version of Americana's website doesn't showcase that heritage too well. Indeed, it appears the Portuguese text was just run through the BabelFish and posted without being proofed by anyone who actually speaks English. Enjoy. Or not.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

(Gotta) Crash On You

Christmas is almost here, and regardless of whether you will celebrate the birth of Baby Yeshua along with me, I would like wish you the very best. I would also like to offer the gift of a free MP3 (created by me) to all the readers of Blogizdat.

If you've been reading Blogizdat for a while, you know I'm into music in a big way. You also know that I have rather eclectic tastes. I don't enjoy everything out there, and I have my preferences and favorites. But I do like all kinds of styles of music, from country to opera to punk to techno to rap, and I like all kinds of artists and bands, from The Ramones to Radiohead to Emmylou Harris to Ofra Harnoy to Prince to Johnny Cash to Eminem to Beck to Britney Spears. And back again.

I enjoy listening to music, and I enjoy making music. Unfortunately, I'm not a very good musician. This past spring I bought yet another computer: a Mac iBook that came a program called Garageband, which is essentially a sequencer, designed for dummies like me. Real musicians can use the program to record their singing or playing, but Garageband also comes with hundreds of pre-recorded loops, allowing users to assemble songs and compositions from scratch, without knowing how to play a note. And that's what I've done here.

I took several of the loops that came with Garageband and augmented them with other bits and pieces of audio from different loop collections and CD's. I assembled them and applied various effects, both to the pieces and to the whole, and ended up with this. (I tried running the whole thing through my newly-acquired copy of DSP-Quattro, to apply further effects, but I didn't like the results.)

So, what's the style? I dunno. The piece in question is instrumental, and I guess I think it sounds like a mishmash of Euro-pop and electronica-techno, but what do I know? The piece is 2.6 megs in size, compressed to a 160 kbps MP3, with a playing time of 2 minutes and 22 seconds. (How long it will take you to download depends on the speed of your internet connection, of course. It took me a little over 10 minutes on a dialup connection; it'll be alot faster on DSL or cable.)

So, without further ado, I offer you, dear readers, with thanks and appreciation, this free MP3 download. Enjoy:
(Gotta) Crash On You

(I believe the file will download ok, now, but it's on a small capacity account at Geocities, and I don't get alot of bandwidth for downloads. There should be enough for all who might want to give a listen, but if the hourly total bandwidth is exceeded, the system will ask users to check back presently. One of these days, Alice...)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Garden Of Eatin'

After work tonight I joined the family and my in-laws at the Olive Garden for a birthday dinner in my mother-in-law's honor. I have always liked the Olive Garden's good food and low prices, but I find the often excessively long wait to be seated quite annoying; the place doesn't take reservations and it often takes up to an hour to get a table. Of course, tonight I arrived late, so I didn't have to wait. Cool.

The place was packed to the gills with large family groups like ours, young couples on cheap dates, and students from the several colleges and universities nearby. It's a great place to people-watch, which brings me to my story...

As I was eating my Chicken Caeser Salad, my attention was drawn to three young college-aged women in the booth just across from our table. Two of them, one brunette and one blonde, both of them extremely attractive, were seated on one side of the booth. On the opposite side of the booth was seated their chum, by herself, also blonde, but not nearly as pretty as the other two. It seemed the three knew each other, and they appeared to be enjoying each other's company.

Then something happened that struck me as quite odd. The two attractive young women began exchanging Christmas gifts, but their less-attractive dinner companion just sat at the other side of the booth, looking on at the festivities, without participating. It appeared to me that she was being ignored.

The brunette - who looked for the world like a 21-year old, and much prettier, Laura San Giacomo - turned to the blonde - who, for her part, looked a bit like a slightly less-glamorous Kate Hudson - and handed her a small package, wrapped in Christmas paper, bows and ribbon. The blonde unwrapped it and let out a little squeal: she'd just been blessed with several DVD's of Sex And The City episodes, every girl's dream gift, I must surmise. The two hugged. Then the blonde handed a large gift bag to the brunette, who proceeded to remove several items from it: a fashionable blank writing journal, a CD of something-or-other, and a clear box with some lipstick tubes in it. The two traded air kisses, and they hugged again. They both appeared pleased with their gifts, and with each other.

And yet during all this time their friend - at least, I think she was their friend - was seated across the booth from them, presentless and ignored. Occasionally the other two would say something to her, but they seemed very much into each other, and didn't seem to want to be bothered. I suspect there is probably some very good and reasonable explanation for it all, but it sure seemed a bit odd to me.

- Slow dissolve, cue dreamy music.

I resisted the strong urge to eavesdrop further and did the only honorable thing a 40-something guy can do in such situations: I scooped up my fussy (but lovely) 2 year-old daughter, bundled her up and set off for home into the 5-degree cold, leaving Mrs. Muzzy and the 5 year-old to their dessert. I was so full I couldn't eat any more, and the child seemed like she had reached the end of her rope. But I got something better than dessert: the toddler and I got to sing Old McDonald and The Wheels On The Bus together, all the way home in the car. It doesn't get much better than that.

You Need This Site

Let them tell it:
"What was the song used in that television commercial?"Now you can find the answer at Adtunes.com - the weblog of information on music from TV ads, film trailers, and more.
Yup. Very cool. Adtunes.

Sparkling Wine

The formidable - but always caring and compassionate - RightWingSparkle had this quote on her Blog today:
"Men are like fine wine. They start as grapes, and it's up to the women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with."
Speaking as an average guy with an average fragile male ego, I'd say...that sounds about right. And we thank you for it. Heh.

The L Stands For Loser

It took some squinting through my bifocals before I saw what LGF was referring to here, but it appears correct: John F. Kerry was not certified the winner of the 31 Democrat electoral votes in New York State. OK, OK, I'll explain: not to be out-done by the hapless Minnesota Democrat elector who cast his presidential electoral vote for John Ewards, the New York Democrat electors signed off on a document certifying one hitherto-unknown John L. Kerry as the recipient of their 31 electoral votes, not the well-known equine-visaged Senator John F. Kerry. I say, show some compassion for the lefties: take their keys, and call them a cab!

Iraq The Model, Minus One

Ali, one of the three brothers who have maintained the fine and informative Iraq The Model, announced on Sunday that he is leaving the Blog. He will be missed. His brother Omar writes further on the subject today.

Monday, December 20, 2004

The Divine Afflatus

Every so often, as I am wont to do, I will trot out a bit of Mencken to share with the Blogizdaterati. This week being Christmas, and all, I am feeling the urge to type up a little something from the master of prose. Here, then, are a couple of paragraphs from The Divine Afflatus - originally published in the New York Evening Mail on November 16, 1917, later in Prejudices, Second Series, and currently available in A Mencken Chrestomathy - on the Art Of Creating, as applicable to Novel Writing as to, perhaps, Creating Blog Content:
Every man who writes, or paints, or composes knows by hard experience that there are days when his ideas flow freely and clearly and days when they are dammed up damnably. On his good days, for some reason quite incomprehensible to him, all the processes and operations of his mind take on an amazing ease and slickness. Almost without conscious effort he solves technical problems that have badgered him for weeks. He is full of novel expedients, extraordinary efficiencies, strange cunnings. He has a feeling that he has suddenly and unaccountably broken through a wall, dispersed a fog, got himself out of the dark. So he does a double or triple stint of his best work that he is capable of - maybe of far better work than he has ever been capable of before - and goes to bed impatient for the morrow. And on the morrow he discovers to his consternation that he has become almost idiotic, and quite incapable of any work at all.

This umpleasant experience overtakes poets and contrapunctists, critics and dramatists, painters and sculptors, and also, no doubt, philosophers and journalists; it may even be shared, so far as I know, by advertisement writers and the rev. clergy. The characters that all anatomists of melancholy mark in it are the irregular ebb and flow of the tides, and the impossibility of getting them under any sort of rational control. The brain, as it were, stands to one side and watches itself pitching and tossing, full of agony but essentially helpless. Here the man of creative imagination pays a ghastly price for all his superiorities and immunities; nature takes revenge upon him for dreaming of improvements in the scheme of things. Sitting there in his lonely room, gnawing the handle of his pen, racked by his infernal quest, horribly bedeviled by incessant flashes of itching, toothache, eye-strain and festering conscience - thus tortured, he makes atonement for his crime of having ideas. The normal man, the healthy and honest man, the good citizen and home-holder - this man, I daresay, knows nothing of all that travail. It is the particular penalty of those who pursue strange butterflies into dark forests, and go fishing in enchanted and forbidden streams.
Yeah, I've felt that way. And maybe you have, too.

Lindsay Lohan

Would somebody please humor me and post some kind of explanation as to why they think Lindsay Lohan is the It Girl of the moment? I pose the question seriously and sincerely; I'm interested in knowing the conventional wisdom on why she's been afforded such accolades at so very young an age. Is it because she was a Child Star? Well, there have been Child Stars aplenty, through the years, and few have been lauded like Lindsay. Is it because she's pretty? Well, she is pretty, in a low-rent sort of way. But she's not a beauty like Elizabeth Hurley or Angelina Jolie. Is it because she's young? There are many others, just as young and equally talented. Is it because People and US create such things as It Girls to sell magazines? I suspect the latter, but I'm open to enlightenment.

Good Bye, Mr. Moyers - Hello, Supersparkle

The ever-lovely RightWingSparkle is back from a long weekend, and blogs up a storm on the subject of the venerable Bill Moyers' last show on PBS. Flame on!

The Innocence Mission

I've whooped up the music of The Innocence Mission here before, but I don't expect anyone to rush out and buy their recordings on my word alone. Fortunately, both Amazon.com and The Innocence Mission itself have several free legal MP3s available for download. (There's also two tracks available from a solo CD by bandmember Don Peris.)

My favorite of the downloads listed below is 'Where Does The Time Go?,' but I say grab 'em all, and see what you think. You may just discover your next favorite artist(s):

You Are The Light
- from Birds Of My Neighborhood

Where Does The Time Go?
-from Birds Of My Neighborhood

Tomorrow On The Runway
- from Befriended

Today
- from Small Planes

What A Wonderful World
-from Now The Day Is Over

Firefly
- from Don Peris' Ten Silver Slide Trombones

Pennsylvania
- from Don Peris' Ten Silver Slide Trombones

(BTW, I don't know how much credence you give to such things, but NPR critic Christian Bordal rated The Innocence Mission's recent album Befriended as one of the top ten CDs of 2003, up there with The Strokes, My Morning Jacket, Joss Stone and The White Stripes. You can read Bordal's entire NPR list of his Top 50 Picks of 2003 here.)

Huh?

Rev. Dr. Davidson Loer wants you to know that you are now living under Fascism in these United States. No, really, he's serious.

(The Right Rev. Dr. is not always precise with his words, however: he misquotes Mencken in the first paragraph of this article, when the reference he must have been thinking of can be found here.)

Lotsa Time On Their Hands

HumanClock is...uh, just read the FAQ.

Curious About George

Ask not for whom the chimp smirks, he smirks for thee.

Silly But Fascinating

They want you to ChooseTheBlue, but their info should help you ChooseTheRed, as well. Either way, it's one more sign the zanies on the left have rowed out past the reef.

Accidental? Now That IS News.

News flash: ODB died of accidental overdose.

No, I Wasn't Snickering. Honest.

U of Oregon Daily Emerald has the story on a broiling Civil Rights controversy developing on campus. More here.

Bonsai Kitten

Look, this is really old and most of you probably saw it years ago, but don't you know someone who might get outraged over this Bonsai Kitten site? (You and I know it's not real, ok? But you don't have to tell Grandma that, now, do you? Heh.)

Saturday, December 18, 2004

The Reel Deal

Forget the Mojo Box. I found the perfect gift for Mrs. Muzzy: a wall calendar with pix to make the ladies swoon of Bass Fisherman beefcake. Mrs. Muzzy'll love it, I'm sure. And guys, your wife or S.O. will, too. There's still time to get 'em delivered before Christmas. It's the gift that keeps on giving, all year 'round. (And ladies, just remember to tell that Angler of yours you want him to bring home Salmon, not Halibut!)

Yikes

Some people don't learn from their mistakes: Michael Jackson Greets Kids at Neverland.

Homeland Security, Columbian-Style

I'm not touching it, YOU touch it.

But No MSG

New hit series on Fox: the The Commie Swan.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Sally Army

The Red Kettle is online.

In Remembrance

On December 17, 1981, my best friend Keith M. was killed by a drunk driver. He is remembered fondly and missed very much to this day by his family and friends. Please, don't drink and drive.

Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah

I think I can safely say that most people will find something to offend here. All inclusive, indeed. (But where's Ramadan?)

Norwegianity

Minnesota Lefty Blog Norwegianity brags of being "Like a blue stake through the heart of red Minnesota." Foolish? Sure. But read it anyway. (The author claims to use a Mac, so we can possibly agree on something.)

Today's Bleat

Today's Bleat is one more splendid example of why James Lileks gets paid million$ (or should) for his writing ability and I-I-I just link to him.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Interesting Post

Global Octupus (or As The Top Of The World Turns) lays down an interesting and well-written riff, picking up on the theme of the rather haphazardly-written post I submitted for Hugh Hewitt's Vox Blogoli earlier this week; his (or her?) own contribution to the forum can be found here. From someone who is a self-professed outsider to this disussion, there's alot of good stuff there. Check it out.

From This Week's Onion

This story is so close to the truth that it feels a little wrong to laugh, but I did, anyway.

Mojo Box

Ladies, if you need a little help with your Christmas Wish List, let it be known that you'd like to receive the Mojo Box. And don't worry, Helzberg will help you drop the hint. (And be sure to reward your Hunk-O'-Man properly, if he should come through. Just let the lady on the right side of this page be your guide.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I Don't Know How I Missed This

Back in October, representatives of the Presbyterian Church (USA) met with leaders of the terrorist group Hezbollah, in Lebannon. One of the PCUSA representatives was quoted as saying:
As an elder of our church, I'd like to say that according to my recent experience, relations and conversations with Islamic leaders are a lot easier than dealings and dialogue with Jewish leaders.
and
We treasure the precious words of Hezbollah and your expression of goodwill toward the American people.
Two of the officials involved later left their jobs. All this on the heels of the PCUSA's divestment from Israel. (I posted a link to a Dennis Prager column about the matter on 09-22-2004.)

Lebanese and Syrian Presbyterians are upset that the PCUSA fired members of the delegations. The PCUSA and the 'Social Witness' group released correspondance between the two on the PCUSA website today.

So, this is the church body that my father devoted his life to as a pastor. He must be spinning madly in his grave. Actually, to be fair, my father served primarily in the Southern PCUS, before it merged with the Northern church to form the PCUSA. Had he lived, I'd like to believe he would have have disassociated himself from the PCUSA, a long time ago. I certainly have.

Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before

ACLU Homeland Holiday Advisory System.

Vox Blogoli VI

Hugh Hewitt threw down the gauntlet yesterday, launching Vox Bogoli VI, on the issue of the MSM's treatment of the Jesus story, particularly Newsweek's cover story of this past week. He asked, and I quote:
...what [do] these articles tell us about the MSM's abilities and credibility on matters off faith and history, specifically, is the Newsweek article the religion equivalent of Rathergate? What accounts for the appearance in a major magazine of such a biased piece?
OK, I'll bite.

Question, the first: Is this story the Newsweek equivalent of Rathergate?

No, I say - and on several levels.

If the question is whether this story tarnishes Newsweek's image in the eyes of its peers - and the public at large - the answer is a clear negative. Newsweek will suffer no repercussions from the majority of its readership, and its peers, such as Time and US News and others - with possible exception of World Magazine - won't even mention it. When the Rathergate story broke, it didn't take more than a day before ABC and Fox and CNN were making hay of the story, to bring their rival down a notch or two. As certain as I'm sitting here typing this, I can assure you that will not happen over the Newsweek story. I suspect, in fact, that the majority of the staff at all the major news outlets feel that the story was fair and unbiased.

Decades ago the mainline churches and seminaries succumbed to the siren song of Higher Criticism and shed orthodoxy for a social gospel that is much more palatable to secular society. Likewise, regardless their personal religious affiliation, the Mainstream Media (MSM) is populated by those who have long since given up any semblance of belief in a God who reveals himself to mankind. They are at least bewildered - and at most repelled - by Christians (or Jews, for that matter) of conservative or orthodox faith. As such, when writing stories on matters of religion, they devote little time to those theologians and historians who believe in the historicity of the Nativity Story. To the MSM, it is an established fact that faith and history cannot be reconciled, and they won't stray from that position.

Hugh mentioned on his Monday night show that it was a shame that those who are not Christian believers might be given the wrong impression about the historicity of Jesus' birth from the Newsweek story. True enough. But what of it? I was raised in the Reformed tradition that stresses the doctrine of divine election. It states simply that God draws to himself whom He wills. The only ones who will come to faith are those drawn by God to faith in Him. If God calls a sinner to Himself, no article in Newsweek - however flawed - will stand in the way of that call.

The responsibility for the proclamation of God's truth does not fall to the Mainstream Media, nor does it depend on them getting the story right. Quite the contrary. We should not even expect fair and even-handed treatment. We - the Body of Christ on earth - have been promised that lies, slander and persecution would come our way because of our belief. (Read Fox's Book Of Martyrs for account of the early history of such things.) We have absolutely no reason to think that secular society, or the government and media that represent it, will be anything but derisive toward our claims of an incarnate God and a risen Savior.

In short, Rathergate was the result of over-eager and sloppy journalists willing to do anything for a story, up to and including accepting the rather shabby forgeries of records regarding Dubyuh's National Guard service. It was quickly repudiated and CBS was shunned and laughed at by its peers.

The Newsweek story, however - and others like it - are the result of more than a century of collapse in the ability of the Evangelical movement in this country to stand for anything resembling orthodox Christianity. Additionally American Catholicism, the other great arm of Christianity in this country, can offer little more than a tepid response to such challenges, for months having been - as the result of its recent scandals - the constant target of smutty jokes on late night TV.

But Hugh's second question remains, why would the MSM engage in what appears to be such shoddy journalism?

Well, part of the answer lies in what I wrote above.

The MSM gives little or no credence to tales of historicity of the claims of Jesus, and are not about to allow themselves to become the laughing stock of their peers for taking such stories seriously. This should be no surprise. Both Newsweek and Time have published a Who-Was-The-Baby-Jesus kind of story every Christmas-time, for years. Ken Woodward, the former religion editor at Newsweek, would write a story each December, perhaps a little more balanced than this year's version, but still designed to cast aspersion and doubt on the Manger Story. Let's face it, the Jesus Seminar has taken its toll.

The claims of orthodox Christianity - as opposed to the anemic social gospel that has taken over the likes of the Anglican Communion, the UCC, the PCUSA, the ELCA, the UMC, the ABC and so many others - stand and fall on the fact that God acted in history, incarnating himself as a baby in Mary's womb, and dying on a cross, and rising from the dead. To add to Paul's statement, if God not be incarnate, our faith is dead. The MSM is not about to engage in Christian apologetics.

But this year's story was a little more poisonous and a little more derisive. Why? I think the reason is fairly straightforward.

In a post 9/11 world, the MSM - and, in turn, the public at large - have tried to cast a wide net on those they would accuse of religious fanaticism. The new Conventional Wisdom is that most of the mischief and evil in the world has been perpetrated by those who believe they have a Divine Call, those who believe that God really has spoken to them and their prophets. So, in their effort to offer an appearance of fairness and even-handed treatment of all, the MSM tars all those who hold to orthodox faith with the same brush.

The Newsweek story was not a fluke, and the climate that allowed it to be published will not abate anytime soon. We will see more of such things. We may be right to speak out against it, and perhaps we should. But Christians should harbor no illusions that the world will ever accept the church's claim of an incarnate God, or that the MSM will write an unbiased article on the subject.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Ewards In 2008

This from Minnesota Public Radio's website: Minnesota elector gives Edwards a vote; Kerry gets other nine. Actually, the story is even stranger. The photo on the front page of today's Minneapolis paper displays the Democrat ballot hand-written as "John Ewards."

(Tut-tut. Should have been reading Blogizdat on 12-02-04.)

And, in other presidential election news, Ohio electors (correctly) cast all their 20 votes for Dubyuh yesterday, even as the recount(s) went ahead. News cameras were present and therefore, of course, so was Jesse Jackson, muttering something incoherent about "high-tech vote stealing."

Also muttering incoherently, the high-tech leftie Don Quixotes at DoNotConcede.com plodded onward in their fight for electoral justice, rallying the troops with cries of: "HELP KEEP THE TRUTH ALIVE!"

Yawn.

Cultural Ignorance

From Alan Aker, on The Cultural Ignorance Of The left. (Thanks to Lorraine for the link.)

Breaking Up Isn't That Hard To Do

I don't know if (or when) CNet will post the following to their website, but I received a copy as part of their free weekly newsletter, reproduced here in part. (You can sign up for CNet's free tech/computer newsletter here.)
Dear Internet Explorer:

It's over. Our relationship just hasn't been working for a while, and now, this is it. I'm leaving you for another browser.

I know this isn't a good time--you're down with yet another virus. I do hope you feel better soon--really, I do--but I, too, have to move on with my life. Fact is, in the entire time I've known you, you seem to always have a virus or an occasional worm. You should really see a doctor.

That said, I just can't continue with this relationship any longer. I know you say you'll fix things, that next time it'll go better--but that's what you said the last time--and the time before that. Each time I believed you.

Well, not any longer. [section snipped] This is it.

I know, I've tried breaking up before, and I've always come back, but that's because I couldn't find the right browser to move on with. I want an independent browser, one that stands on its own without a codependent operating system. What I want is a browser that's strong and secure, one that handles the latest content and won't crash. I want transparency. I want code that actually means something.

I have found just that.

You barely even talk to Macs anymore, and you always seem to walk out of the room whenever Linux stops by. Why?

With Mozilla Firefox, at least I know where I stand. The code is open source, built from the ground up, clean--not recycled. No more hidden agendas. At least when there's a flaw in Firefox, this browser alerts me on its toolbar. It doesn't try to hide its mistakes, waiting until the second Tuesday of the month to offer me a patch for some flaw that's been out there for six months already.

I can take my Firefox to my Mac and Linux friends, and everyone gets along just fine. You barely even talk to Macs anymore, and you always seem to walk out of the room whenever Linux stops by. Why? What are you afraid of? Honestly, a grown browser like you afraid of a little operating system? I think this snobby behavior speaks volumes about what's wrong with this relationship.

So this is it: Good-bye. I know you'll do fine without me; you always have. I'm sure there'll be someone who'll find you to be cute and interesting. It just won't be me.
Heh heh. I made the switch a year or so ago. You can too. Be strong, and get yours here.

Monday, December 13, 2004

For All Your Holiday Putty Needs

PuttyWorld.

Politics 101

Study this list of 38 tricks and evasions, from Arthur Shopenhauer's The Art Of Controversy: they will serve you well as a decoder ring when trying to read Daily Kos.

The Manson Myth

Crime Magazine has a very interesting and lengthy article on the Myth of Charlie Manson.

Great Blog

The Buck Stops Here.

Images From Space

Terraserver and SpaceImaging have photos taken from satellites of thousands of locations, maybe even in your hometown.

How To Waste Time At Work

This is cool: color-by-number on your computer.

FrootsMag

FrootsMag publishes their list of the Best World Music albums of 2004.

Ever Heard Of Nabataea?

Me neither. But the folks at Nabataea.net have, and they are happy to explain all.

What You Need To Know

The history of 404.

Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z

Chomsky For Dummies.

You Know You Want To

The Illustrated Guide To Breaking Your Computer.

Silvija Seres

The brilliant and charming Ms. Seres shares photos of her World Travels.

It Kept Me Busy For A Couple MInutes

How To Keep An Idiot Busy (for at least a couple minutes).

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Christmas Gift Ideas For Kids

Muzzy surfs for this stuff, so you don't have to:

Disgusting Jelly Beans
Ear Wax Candy
Dog Poop Calendar

There'll be more.

Right On Target

A while back the estimable Hugh Hewitt spent the better part of a couple of weeks on his show - and on his website - pumping up the Target vs. Salvation Army Bell Ringers story. I guess I see merit to both sides of the argument, and I can't bring myself to get into the lather that Hugh was in about it. I've maintained that, in the end, the Salvation Army would come out ahead.

And so it appears that the Bell Ringers have found new homes: I've seen them out in front of local supermarkets, and Walmart has announced that the Bell Ringers are welcome outside their stores. In fact, just today I saw a television ad making much of the fact that not only does Walmart give generously to the communities it serves, but that Walmart is proud to have the Bell Ringers out in front of its stores.

Sounds all right to me.

Public Television

Very strange...

I have been feeling a little punk this weekend with a nasty cold that won't go away, so I stayed home this PM while Mrs. Muzzy took the little ones to a Christmas Kid's Concert. I cleaned up a little around the house and then watched a little TV. As I flipped through the channels - I don't have cable - I landed on one of the two Public Television stations we have in my town. Hearing the sonorous voice of Dr. Wayne Dyer offering advice on how to live a spiritual life, I stopped what I was doing to listen for a few minutes.

Dr. Dyer has been in the public eye for at least 25 years, first making his mark as an author, peddling pop psychology and self-help theories of well-being in a string of best-selling books like Your Erroneous Zones, starting in the late 1970's. But of late he seems to have taken on the mantle of lecturer, as well as pitchman for Public Television stations as part of their membership drives.

In this afternoon's taped lecture, Dr. Dyer waxed eloquent on matters of the soul, presenting a pastiche of New Age spirituality and Zen, with a smidgen of mysticism from Christian and Kabbalistic sources thrown in for good measure; it reminded me alot of what I've heard at Universalist-Unitarian meetings, over the years. During the breaks, he personally faced the cameras in the local station's studios, promising to send out copies of his books, CD's and DVD's to those who would sign up as Public Television Members, at various levels of support.

What struck me as odd wasn't so much his religious philosophy. His isn't that much different than what hundreds of other shamans have offered up to Westerners for decades, going back to the Gurus and Yogis of the 1960's, and to Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophists, before that. And I am not going to mock his beliefs, no matter how much I disagree with him. I'm sure he would find my religious beliefs as odd as I find his.

What I found strange was that this Public Television station, the very one that presents shows like Nova, with its utterly humanistic (and even atheistic) bent, was essentially endorsing New Age Eastern Spirituality in its bid for its viewer's dollars. And, conversely, those who support Public Television, are subsidizing - in no small measure - Dr. Dyer's lecturing career.

(Last I read, Public Television gets about a quarter of its funding from the Government, and the rest of it from corporate and individual donors. And the prestige Dr. Dyer receives from his association with Public Television undoubtedly bolsters his speaker's fee.)

I'm not trying to talk anyone out of supporting or watching Public Television. I watch many Public Television shows - I even watch Nova on occasion. But I just found Dr. Dyer's appearance odd, that's all. I am certain that no Public Television station in the country would ever put a serious religious Holy Roller or Mormon or Catholic or Muslim on as a pitchman (or woman) for its fund drive. They would never allow a Billy Graham Crusade to be shown, and I doubt Dr. Graham would do it, if asked.

I can only assume that the Corporation For Public Broadcasting must believe that its viewers - primarily Urban Middle Class Whites - have an affinity for such New Age programming, or they wouldn't run it. And I have to wonder if those who do support Public Television - religious believers and agnostics, both - fully understand what their support is subsidizing.

Once again, very strange...

Saturday, December 11, 2004

First Things

If you are Protestant or Catholic (or Jewish, for that matter) and are serious about your faith and your world, then you will probably enjoy First Things. Published monthly and edited by Father Neuhaus, First Things is the best religious intellectual magazine published in this country, with all back issues - except for the current copy - available online, at no charge to readers. (For your perusal, the Table of Contents of the November 2004 issue.)

(And, since you asked, yes, I definitely think that First Things is better than The Christian Century.)

More Geek Stuff

On Saturday, November 20, I posted something about having loaded a Mac Plus Emulator onto my iBook. Well, this afternoon, while Mrs. Muzzy was out covorting with her sisters at the neighborhood mall and the baby slept, I devoted myself to a slightly different task: setting up a Mac Quadra emulator on a PC.

Emulators.com makes available a free copy of their SoftMac program that emulates a 68040 processor Quadra 900 level machine on a PC. It isn't simple to set up, and users need to have access to an extracted ROM image from an actual Quadra to make the thing work.

(Actually, the emulator will produce a 68020, 68030 or 68040 machine with proper ROMs, but not any machines in the PPC or G3 series, at least not at this time.)

So, why go through all the hassle to do it?

Well, for one reason, to see if it could be done. I am a bit of a computer gear-head, and I enjoy the challenge of making things work, as long as my feeble brain can grasp the concept. Setting up the free version of SoftMac wasn't easy, but after several failures, I managed to make it work. It felt pretty cool seeing a Mac boot up on a Pentium laptop, even if I still couldn't get the sound to work right.

No Big Surprise

At week's end, (Mar)Kos and his flock of self-righteous lefties mock people of faith. Who would have ever seen that coming?

Paste Music

I mentioned Paste Music in this post last weekend. Since then, I picked up issue #13 of their magazine. For $5.95 (plus sales tax, in my state) I got a 140 pages of great magazine, plus a music sampler CD (23 tracks) and a video sampler DVD (with film shorts and nearly 3 dozen production/live videos). You can peruse a listing of what's on the samplers here. I picked up my copy at Barnes and Noble, but I know that Borders carries Paste Magazine, as well. I submit to you that if you like intelligent, adult music, you should give Paste a try.

Friday, December 10, 2004

A Bad Day

A bad day might go something like this:
  • I'd have the day off with the kids, while Mrs. Muzzy went to work downtown
  • I'd be feeling pretty good, because things would seem to be going ok
  • I'd get a call in the early afternoon from a co-wowrker to the effect that I'd dropped my checkbook at work, the night before
  • I'd put the 5 year-old on the bus for afternoon kindergarten
  • I'd take the 2 year-old with me downtown to retrieve my checkbook
  • I'd stand around talking with co-workers who would be fawning over my lovely daughter
  • I'd realize at 3:10 pm that I'd parked in a spot that became no-parking at 3:00 pm
  • I'd rush outside to see my car on the back of a flatbed, being towed away
  • I'd rush back inside to call Grandpa to see if he could pick up the 5 year-old at school
  • I'd walk across downtown with the toddler in the stroller to get Mom's carseat from out of her car, while she's at work
  • I'd get a ride from a helpful co-worker to the city impound lot
  • I'd withdraw a wad of money from the cash machine
  • I'd pay $133 for the towing charge, with another $33 to be paid for the ticket
  • I'd go over to Grandma and Grandpa's house to pick up the 5 year-old
  • I'd finally get home around suppertime
Or something like that. Trust me on this, I know these things.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Admiral Hopper And Mom

Today was the birthday of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper. It was also my mom's. In some roundabout way, both of them are responsible for events that led up to this blog's existence. So, thank you, and Happy Birthday, ladies.

Deep Thoughts

After all these years, Jack Handy's Deep Thoughts still make me think. Well, think and laugh, until milk comes out of my nose.

Marcia Cross

As I type this, Jay Leno is interviewing Marcia Cross, who plays Bree Van De Kamp on ABC's Desperate Housewives. I'm a huge fan of the show, and I love Marcia's character on it; I've also seen her in other shows over the years, like The King Of Queens and Seinfeld, although I missed her soap opera career. She's always impressed me as an actress, but unlike many, she comes off utterly normal in real life, aside from the fact that tonight she cuts an almost other-worldly stunning look, in a bright green dress, with bright red hair - almost made me forget Catherine Zeta-Jones' appearance with Jay last night. What's that? Marcia just told Jay that she went back to school recently and finished her Psychology degree. Impressive. Anyway, to all appearances, she is a lovely and fascinating woman. And, now, back to the Net.

I'm Speechless

Can anyone please explain this? (No, I didn't think you could.)

Interesting And Sobering Advice

Zombyboy's Three Rules of Divorce.

More Web Awards

Supersparkle - the ever-lovely Right Wing Sparkle in her latest incarnation as a Lady Crimefighter - just released her list of Web Awards.

Will Blog For Cash

I don't think my services would ever be worth quite this much. Then again, who knows? (And check this out: there were thirty bids.)

Imagining

I had the afternoon off from work yesterday. As I was driving home, I heard a caller on the radio request John Lennon's Imagine. Then it hit me: it was the anniversary of his death. That was why I had overheard his name mentioned so often in chatter around the office, yesterday morning. I drove along, listening to the quiet melody of John Lennon's signature solo tune, laced with naive but touching sentiment, and started to reminisce...

I don't remember why, but I had gone to bed early the night before Lennon was shot, and it was only as I stepped off the bus downtown, on my way to work, that I saw the headline in the paper announcing that he had been killed. I actually remember what block I was on when I got off that bus, and where the newspaper vending machine was located. I recall a feeling of serendipity, given that I had just purchased a brand-new copy of the Imagine LP the week before. I didn't cry, I wasn't in shock. But I did feel a wave of sadness and loss.

I had come to The Beatles a bit later than my peers. Sure, I'd heard many of their songs as a kid, but it was only at age 14, at boarding school, living away from home for the time, that I heard Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road and the White Album for the first time. I was blown away. Listening to those albums for me was like the dope I never smoked, and the acid I never took: I would lower the tonearm - remember those? - onto the platter, place the headphones over my ears and disappear on an inner trip. Those albums became my habit and my drug; in fact, I believe that I listened to Abbey Road at least once a day, every day, for my entire 9th-grade year.

While I loved McCartney's tunes, I felt a greater kinship with Lennon. His lyrics weren't necessarily very insightful, but they were poetic and powerful; they were more elemental, more sad, more depressing, more obsessive. John felt a great deal of pain and anxiety that he couldn't hide in his later Beatles' stuff, and in his solo work. His lyrics connected with me and affected me deeply. (My little sister had died in an accident only 5 years earlier, and the obvious depth of the pain Lennon felt at the loss of his mother resonated with me.)

There was another thing that I liked about Lennon's music: I could play his songs. I once read a book by The Beatles' producer George Martin, in which he explained that most of Lennon's songs were written over a narrow range of notes, that John had a limited vocal range and, unlike Paul's tunes, John's tended to rely on rhythm and repetition as much a melody. In short, they were easier to perform for the likes of a budding guitar player like me.

Anyhow, on the anniversary of John Lennon's death, I remember and pay tribute to a man who was a bit of a flake, politically naive, a gifted musician and poet, but above all, one who touched an entire generation with his music and life. Thank you, sir, for your gift.

Postcript: links to a couple of good posts on Remembering Lennon, one and two. And I leave you with my favorite Lennon song of all time: Because, from Abbey Road.

Ouch!

Nice doggie.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

A** Kicking Machine

Do you - or someone you know - need a good a** kicking? Bob Booth has got the machine to do it. Really.

Architectural Digestion

Great Mobile Homes Of Mississippi (with Dueling Banjo midi files, for your audio pleasure).

Crying Babies

Daddy Drinks Because I Cry, version one and version two. (But I'm warning you, if you are easily offended, do not go poking around this site. Really. I'm serious. No kidding. Don't do it. Okay?)

Arrested Development

Move to Idaho to meet your next girlfriend - or boyfriend.

Draw Your Own Conclusions? Huh?

As usual, Kos prattles on, full of sound and fury, regarding what he alleges is a digital divide between Proud Conservatives and Moonbat Lefties and says, well, absofreakinlutely nothing.
There is a clear liberal/conservative divide in technology usage. You can find the data at any weblog with a public sitemeter, and the stats seem to hold true across the board. Liberals are more likely to use non-Microsoft products and conservatives.

Draw your own conclusions.
(I just checked this little blog of happiness' stats and it shows I've been most recently read by 32% non IE browswers and from 25% non-Windows/NT OS's. Which proves: squat. And I don't care. I'm just pleased to have some eyeballs reading this stuff, and hope they like what they read enough to come back.)

Rescue Rings

Our Man Dubyuh could have used one of these in that first debate with John Kerry. (On the other hand, Kerry could have used one in the next two debates, so it's all good.)

Spin The Dreidel

I was raised Presbyterian, later turned Baptist and am married to a Lutheran. The cool thing is, you don't have to be Jewish to play Spin The Dreidel. But if you are celebrating The Feast Of Lights this week, Happy Chanukah to you! (Special greetings to Elgee.)

(BTW, my copy of The Joys Of Yiddish has four spellings listed: Chanukah, Channukah, Hanuka and Hanukkah, but the preferred spelling seems to be Chanukah, so that's what I'm going with.)

Blog Stats

Here's an interesting examination of the issue of Blog Stats at Canivorous Conservative.

Dr. Walter Williams

The always-insightful Dr. Williams shoots an arrow into the heart of the liberal education establishment.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Oh Canada!

I wouldn't mind impersonating a Canadian from the Western Provinces but, please, no Quebecois. I have my standards, eh?

Remember Pearl Harbor

Michelle Malkin does the heavy lifting with a great post - I can do no better.

Vegetable Rights Militant Movement

No fruit or vegetable should have to suffer like this.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Rap Dictionary

The hip-hop world gets its own Wiki.

Lost In Translation

Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson would probably feel right at home here.

Bush Wins

Dubyuh was finally certified the winner of Ohio's electoral votes today, by 119,000 popular votes. The losers prepare to call for a recount:
The Kerry campaign last week joined the presidential candidates for the Green and Libertarian parties who are asking for a recount. The candidates, who received less than 0.5 percent of the Ohio vote, planned to file their requests Tuesday. The Kerry camp is not disputing the outcome of the race, but wants to ensure that every vote is counted.
I'm sorry, did I say losers? I meant to say SORE losers.

Cleans Up Pretty Well

Gotta give Michael Moore credit where it's due: he knows how to play the game. But underneath he's still the same guy he's always been.

Powerful Stuff

I posted over the weekend about David Horowitz's book, Left Illusions. But he only publishes a book or two a year. Fortunately we have his website to fill the gap. On it there is an edited transcript of a speech he gave on October 14, 2004 called Why We Are In Iraq. Read it. Then read it again.

The Other Eminem

Media Matters, the leftist journalistic home of Mr. David Brock - the very one who pulled an Arianna* on the conservative movement - posted a brief note jabbing at Dr. Thomas Sowell over one of the lines in Sowell's Random Thoughts column of 12-06-2004, prompting this discussion amongst MM's fair-minded readers.

(*to jump political sides for apparently expedient purposes.)

Coupla Interesting Wingnut Blogs

Stumbled on these two worthy blogs today. Check 'em out:

This one's by a 17-year old conservative dude from Alabama, with a wicked political spitball: Peace For Our Time

I had a great comment for this, but I suspect I'd be outta line. I'll just say there is never a dull moment here: The Bitch Girls

Hold The Fries

I'm not poking fun, ok? This is cause for concern in a McCountry like ours.

Interesting

From Human Events: NAACP Head Mfume Didn't Retire, He Was Booted Out

Good News From Iraq #16

Chrenkoff posted today the latest installment of the Good News From Iraq, all the stuff you still won't hear about on the Alphabet Stations.

Yikes

I'm kind of thinking bald might be beautiful, after all.

Ecosystem Stats

I'm going to have to put up the proper Javascript link in my template to update this stuff on its own, but here's big news: Blogizdat has been upgraded from Flippery Fish to Crawly Amphibian in The Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem. (Mom would be so proud.)

Warblogger Awards

Right Wing News lists their Third Annual Warblogger winners.

Red or Blue?

Any questions?

Sunday, December 05, 2004

From Dictionary.com

This is from the American Heritage Dictionary:

psy·cho·sis

n. pl. psy·cho·ses (-sz)

A severe mental disorder, with or without organic damage, characterized by derangement of personality and loss of contact with reality and causing deterioration of normal social functioning.

And very possibly two real-life examples: one and two.

(A doff of the cap to RightWingSparkle for the tip.)

Benny Hinn

Ever heard of Benny Hinn? He's only the biggest televangelist of them all. You think he might actually be on the up-and-up? Maybe not. Wanna know more? Read below.

Joe Bob Briggs, writing under his real name, offers his take on Benny Hinn. Cult exposer Rick Ross has transcripts of a 2002 Dateline story on Pastor Hinn: part one and part two. And if you wish to spend the rest of your week reading up on how many other Christians view him and his ministry, Deception In The Church has a wealth of material on Pastor Hinn.

Interesting Essay

In which author Tom Bissell makes the case that:

She Came In Through The Bathroom Window is the best song on the finest album by the greatest group of all time, a song that in a little under two minutes establishes for once and all that rock'n'roll is, above all else, supposed to be fun.

Déjà Vu (All Over Again)

I often tape TV shows to watch later - no TIVO here - but then misplace the tape, and only get around to watching the show in question whenI find the tape, days or weeks later. So it was that a few nights ago I stumbled on a taped copy of an episode of the Tonight Show from early last fall. Although I initially couldn't remember why I might have wanted to tape it in the first place, it came back to me when Jay Leno announced his musical guest that evening: John Fogerty.

For those too young to remember, John Fogerty was the lead singer and chief songwriter for Creedence Clearwater Revival, the powerhouse Bay Area Rock Group from the late 60's and early 70's. In 3 or 4 short years, the band pumped out hit after hit, after hit, sung in Fogerty's unique vocal style. They were Rock icons, not just in the United States, but around the world.

Although CCR wasn't known primarily for political statements, one of their more powerful tunes was Fortunate Son, an indictment of a government that sent its drafted poor off to fight in Vietnam, while the sons of the rich and powerful got deferrments from the draft.

Although most of the songs that CCR made famous were about trains, and swamps, and street corners, and hobos, Forgerty created in Fortunate Son one of the hallmark anthems of dissent of the era, and his delivery on it was pregnant with rage, full of piss and vinegar. It was powerful stuff.

So, what of Fogerty's performance on the Tonight Show?

Well, it seems John Fogerty has a new album out, and he showed up to play his new anti-war tune, Déjà Vu (All Over Again). In it Fogerty decries what he considers the stupidity of war, particulary the war we are engaged in. He seems to think that we should have learned our lessons in Vietnam, but we're just doing it all over again. (Déjà Vu. All over. Again. Get it?)

Of course, Mr. Fogerty seems to have missed the real lessons of history. Conflict is inevitable, wars happen, bad people do bad things and must be stopped. We fight because we must. Leftists don't understand this, at least not on a national or international level. If - and when - their kids are personally threatened or attacked, they respond with an understandable fury. It's when things become political and abstract that they lose focus and clarity. Even after the Twin Towers were brought to ground in lower Manhatten by the Jihadistas, many on the left still seem incapable of calling evil for what it is, or understanding the need to respond with force.

(Whatever the merits of the American doctrine of Communist Containment in SE Asia, held by various administrations in the 1950's and 1960's, a weak - but plausible - case could be made that the SE Asian conflict wasn't ours, that we didn't belong in Vietnam. And, what's more, the US were never attacked. The current conflict is different - very different. This time we were attacked, and on US soil. War was declared on us, and we have not only a right but a duty to respond, 'with extreme prejudice,' to slightly misquote Captain Willard, from Apocolypse Now. Unfortunately, those on the left still do not, will not, or cannot, understand this. As President Bush pointed out on September 20th, 2001, we didn't start this fight, but we will finish it.)

I must say, Fogerty looked great for a man who must be around 60; he looks like he's still in his mid-40's. But he just seemed off; he sounded weary. Although it's clear how he feels about the war, he just doesn't seem to have it in him to get particularly angry about it. Déjà Vu has none of the fire of Fortunate Son, or the passion of that other CCR anti-war hit, Who'll Stop The Rain? Musically, Fogerty sounded like Harvest Moon-era Neil Young channeled through Sea Change-era Beck. Although Déjà Vu isn't a particularly bad song, it isn't great, either.

I'm glad to see Mr. Fogerty is still standing and still making music, but I'm just disappointed to see that he's been reading too much of class-clown Michael Moore's juvenilia, and not enough of Victor Davis Hanson's sober and astute assessments of the struggle we now face. With all that said, I'm still a fan; John Fogerty is a legend, even if his latest single is a bit lame.

Bringing In The Cheese

Nothing says Merry Christmas like the gift of a shirt or a mug dissing Dubyuh. (Well, at least there's one group of lefties that's happy Bush won.)

Well, This Is Cool

It appears that in the The Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem, Blogizdat has evolved into a Flippery Fish on the following list of the Blogosphere Evolution Tree:
  • Higher Beings
  • Mortal Humans
  • Playful Primates
  • Large Mammals
  • Marauding Marsupials
  • Adorable Rodents
  • Flappy Birds
  • Slithering Reptiles
  • Crawly Amphibians
  • Flippery Fish
  • Slimy Molluscs
  • Lowly Insects
  • Crunchy Crustaceans
  • Wiggly Worms
  • Multicellular Microorganisms
  • Insignificant Microbes
I guess I'm ok with that. It beats the aitch out of being a Slimy Mollusc.

Whuh Thuh Hay?

The language police strike again.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Remembering The Fair

I suspect that I was motivated by the cold and the Christmas lights to engage in reflection, and to wax nostalgic, but while the kids were playing this afternoon, I found myself reading through old entries from another journal of mine, including one recording images of a trip to the State Fair.

It happens that the visit in question was a couple of years ago this past August, but it could have been recorded any time in the past 30 years that I've been attending the Great State Get-Together. Many things change in this world, but the State Fair changes very little, from year to year, to year.

So I offer this compendium of recollections to you, gentle men and ladies, for your pleasure and edification, and with apologies on style to (who else?) H.L. Mencken:

Overpriced hot dogs being consumed by extremely obese Fairgoers...A hog billed as the World's Biggest Pig, lying on his side in a pen full of smelly straw...Bored-looking youth milling about, slack-jawed, in front of the Alternative Rawk Musik Station booth...Parents pulling crying kids in red Radio Flyer wagons...Midway Carny barkers shouting out come-ons for their games of chance and skill...A field of caucasian faces, punctuated by an occasional brown visage...Hot and sweaty exhibition halls, with rows of vendors selling sandals, vegetable washers, pianos, velvet paintings, wooden clogs, tee shirts, sunglasses, gospel music CD's...Fair patrons trying desperately to stay cool, in various states of undress...Free copies of the day's city newspapers being handed out in plastic bags at the entrances...Beer-bellied middle-aged men wearing teeshirts with vulgar slogans...The twice-daily Fair Parade, headed by the Budweiser Clydesdales, with gymnists, clowns, marching bands, cheerleaders, with the Fair Queen and her Princesses atop their float, waving to the crowd...Political booths plastered with advertising for their candidates and positions of choice...A tired young lad walking hand-in-hand with his dreamy-eyed girlfriend, carrying the huge stuffed Pink Panther he just won for her at the Midway Dart Throwing booth...Mothers applying lotion to their children's puffy, sunburned bodies...Clusters of giggling tweenage girls, sending text messages to each other and calling each other on their cell phones...A sixty year-old tattooed man wearing a muscle shirt, tight lavender lycra shorts, brown socks and loafers...The Dairy Princess, sitting for hours in a large glass-windowed cooler, having her likeness carved in a 200-pound block of butter...Polka and square-dance groups, competing for prizes...Fifteen year-old girls caked with makeup, hoping to pass for seventeen, or maybe even eighteen...Attractive young couples snuggling on their first date...Older couples looking extremely tired of each other, and quite possibly on the verge of breaking up...Long, long lines at the cash machines and women's rest rooms...Fresh-faced 4H girls, with names like Cindy and Sandy, giving cow-milking demonstrations...Deep-fried cheese curds, corn dogs, foot long hot dogs, deep-fried Snickers bars, not-really-that-cold 3.2 beer, malts and milkshakes, mini-donuts, huge containers of soda pop, walleye-on-a-stick, everything and anything else on a stick...Antacids being handed out at the Health Building...Weary fairgoers carrying bulging plastic bagfuls of fliers and brochures that they picked up throughout the day...Yellowjackets and bees buzzing in and out of ubiquitous garbage cans...Size 18 middle-aged women spilling out of size 16 terry-cloth shorts and tops...Geezer Rock and Country bands, playing the Grandstand to 20,000 fans...An out-of-tune mariachi band...The screams of kids and adults, as they come down the giant yellow slide...A man carrying the broom and mop set he just bought for the Best-Price-Ever...Bad art mingled with great at the juried exhibition, in the Fine Arts Building...Blue Ribbons, Best-In-Show and Honorable-Mention tags hanging on sweaters, dresses, pies, woodworking, lamps, dolls...A dizzying array of brightly-colored flashing neon lights punctuating the cocophonous din of the Midway rides, late at night...A brigade of weary-looking men and women picking up trash.

Can't you just feel it?

More Music Stuff

I recently stumbled on a link to MusicStack, which bills itself as a clearinghouse for 2500 individual record shops, with over 14 million items listed. As they put it, it is a place to: "Buy Rare Music • Used CDs • Vinyl Records • Hard to Find LPs • Out-of-Print Albums." The prices seem a little high, and you might get a better deal on Amazon or eBay, but I poked around their site, and MusicStack appears to have access to alot of stuff that none of the other sites do.

(I also found another interesting site that promises to find rare albums and copy them to CD for their customers. Check out CDBBQ for more info.)

Happy hunting!

Ohio Presidential Election News

Somehow, in all the post-election excitement, this important story went unnoticed by me.

Truth Decay

911Truth proclaims that "only the truth will set us free." They - and consortium of various like-minded organizations - are convinced the government has lied to the public about the events of September 11, 2001, and that there should be criminal indictments handed down to the guilty parties. Ed Asner and the National Green Party are among those who endorse the movement, so there must be something to it. Right?